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Favourite Awkward Interview Moments

takotako Registered User Posts: 2,012 Senior Member
edited June 2013 in College Admissions
I was inspired by a post on another thread, and think we should share our awkward interview moments (if you have any, maybe it's just me). You know, those moments where you just go, "Wait, did I really say that?" and you cringe on the inside, hoping your interviewer didn't notice.

Anyway, I'll start it off. This is during my Swarthmore interview.

At the very end of the interview, as I was getting up to leave, my interviewer remarked, "Sorry, I obviously made you talk too much because you barely drank anything!"

So the Italian soda I ordered was HUGE, and of course I barely made a dent in it. I don't think I talked that much. Anyway, I didn't want her to feel bad about not letting me drink (didn't want her to feel bad, ha. I should have just said "Oh it's okay." Silly me, overthinking everything)! So I replied, "Oh no, I don't really like cold drinks."

BUT THEN! Okay, I must think differently during interviews or something (seriously). So I'm thinking - but wait! I don't want her to think that I don't like cold drinks and that I only like hot drinks! This is so tragic! What should I do!

So I add in like 2 seconds later, "Well, I don't really like hot drinks either..."

She looks at me strangely. I realize what I have just said. Now she thinks I don't like hot drinks OR cold drinks when I really like both! Ah! It was tramautizing.

There was an awkward silence, until she finally said:

"So...you like...lukewarm drinks."

I died a little bit on the inside, but nodded vigorously. Then she gave me a REALLY strange look and I grinned sheepishly.

SO TRAGIC! It was devastating. So I'm obviously not getting into Swarthmore because of that. I can just see her writing on her interview report: "likes lukewarm drinks." Then the admissions people will read it and it'll come down to the final decision, and they'll decide that they don't really want people who like lukewarm drinks. Then my application will be tossed out the window.

Oh, and another one: if your interviewer is kind enough to take you out for lunch (TGI Fridays! I like Rice :)), do NOT order anything that you need to eat with your hands. In fact, plan ahead what you're going to order. I didn't, and ended up ordering a sandwich because the waiter came back too fast (!!!).

Our conversations were then:
Her: So what do you like to do in your spare time?
Me: *mouth and hands full* Mmmmsdfkjletklusieghkjsdhkgs.

Terrible, just terrible. I have plenty more (oh yes), but if somebody else wants to take the spotlight for now...
Post edited by tako on

Replies to: Favourite Awkward Interview Moments

  • bobmallet1bobmallet1 - Posts: 872 Member
    lol, I don't think they would reject you because of that. Some people actually like lukewarm drinks, and it might help you stand out a little bit, lol.
  • 99cents99cents Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    LOL, It's good experience for future job interview. I usually eat before I get to the interview and only order something just for the sake of ordering something. Something that I can take small bytes without getting a mouthful that I can talk. Something that is not too yummy that I focus on the food and not the interview.
  • takotako Registered User Posts: 2,012 Senior Member
    I guess it is just me that has these moments, then.
  • Tyler09Tyler09 Registered User Posts: 2,768 Senior Member
    that made me laugh out loud.
  • AdamJazAdamJaz Registered User Posts: 491 Member
    I have red hair. It was a little bit more red when I was younger, but my hair is still apparently red. Red enough that I get the nicknames associated with being a "Day Walker."

    Anyways, when I was being interviewed by Jim Kolbe (former US Rep.-AZ), I brought a picture that I got to take with him when I was in 3th grade... he had visited our class for something.

    He was like, "when did your hair turn brown?" And his aide just kinda looked at him awkwardly, and said, "umm.. his hair is still red." And we all kinda had a really awkward three way argument about the color of my hair.


    Whatever, I got the gig!

    EDIT: The gig was Congressional Page.
  • 99cents99cents Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    guess it is just me that has these moments, then.

    No, You are not the only one. I have years of interview experience and I know myself well enough to avoid these things. I tend to get real sleepy when I eat a big meal.
  • hebrewhammerhebrewhammer Registered User Posts: 874 Member
    Well, when I was interviewing at Brandeis the admissions counselor asked me what I did in my spare time. I couldn't think of a "good" answer, so I told him the truth, that I play video games with my friends (mainly super smash bros melee). As I was saying that I realized it probably sounded pretty lame, but then he told me how he plays it too and we talked about it for a little while.
  • catsushicatsushi Registered User Posts: 1,970 Senior Member
    LOL this is exactly what I want. A post dedicated to the awkwardness of interviews. Props to you, tako! Your thread made me laugh outloud.

    I described this on my previous post, but my awkward moment was with my Whitman college interview, when I showed the interviewer my sketchbook. I had forgotten that I had drawn some pretty weird cartoon stuff, like a guy with a towl wrapped around his waist going 'Mmmm I like showers!' I think I pretty much made myself look like a pervert. An anime-obsessed pervert or something.
  • OptimizationOptimization . Posts: 1,085 Senior Member
    I had my UChicago interview...and I brought up the different houses, particularly the shirts they sell. He asked me what I thought of them, and I over enthusiastically said "I LOVE THEM, especially the one about nothing goes down on people in Chicago besides their GPA." He looked like he was about to spit his coffee out from laughing. In a panic, I tried changing the subject and asked if he thought that Chicago was haughty as I've heard people say....great subject to change it to, huh?

    But the interview went well...I think. Hopefully.
  • unaloveunalove Registered User Posts: 3,725 Senior Member
    Haha, sounds awesome, Optimization!

    My own awkward interview story is from my Tufts interview. About a day after I opened an account in mid-September of my senior year, I get an enthusiastic call from an alumna, inviting me to her apartment for an interview.

    Her apartment was the most palacial apartment I've ever seen-- and I've seen quite a few-- and not only was there a grand piano right off the entryway and everything, but there were Chuck Close pieces and other amazing art lining the halls. What weirded me out the most was that she approached me almost with a hug and a kiss, and immediately welcomed me into her parlor room, where she had a teaset lined up for me. (I kid you not).

    "So," she starts in. "What makes Tufts your top choice school, so much so that you are applying here Early Decision?"

    "Uhhhh..." I said. "Tufts isn't my top choice school, but..."

    Thankfully the interview went well after that first misunderstanding, and I knew enough about Tufts after a great visit and a lot of online research that I felt comfortable talking about the school with relative detail. I guess I could have lied and said I was an ED applicant, but I felt very odd putting myself in that position, especially when I was a considering Tufts for regular.

    Tufts eventually had the last laugh-- I never completed my application, and in the spring of my senior year I got an official rejection letter from them. I help a school keep its applications high and its admittance rate low, they give me Oolong Tea and a chance to see a private art collection. It's a good deal for both of us!
  • catsushicatsushi Registered User Posts: 1,970 Senior Member
    Hahaha, I hate it when they ask you what you are applying! The Whitman interviewer started to talk about how I should think about applying Early and do an overnight visit, and I was like 'ummm yes...I will think about that...'.

    Another awkward thing for me is when they ask me what other schools I am applying to. At this point, my mind goes "Oh no! I can't mention other colleges!!!" so I casually say something like 'oh, you know...schools here and there' or something.

    Should I just be more open and say 'I am looking at so and so, and I'm applying Early to blah college?'
  • IreneAdlerIreneAdler Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    At my Bryn Mawr interview, my interviewer kept asking "what's unique and odd about you?" After the first few answers (she wouldn't get off the subject! it was like she wanted me to admit that I was a complete mental case), I started talking about my synaesthesia out of desperation. "What's that?" she asked. "I taste words," I said.

    Awkwardness commenced. Then, I ended up waiting with her for another hour until my parents came back. We talked about really random stuff, like croquet and costume parties. It was just...a very odd day.
  • fa-la-la-lenafa-la-la-lena Registered User Posts: 2,844 Senior Member
    when I was nervous at my Georgetown Interview, I kept going on... and said the phrase "and stuff like that" at least 5 times in 30 minutes. I counted. I could consciously hear myself saying it, but I somehow couldn't keep myself from saying it also. It almost made me laugh out loud in the middle of my interview... but otherwise it went well, I think. We talked about the nicely coordinated table/chair that the interviewer's co-worker refurbished. Kind-of odd, yes, but there were no really awkward moments as we both kept on talking...
  • lostinbaltlostinbalt Registered User Posts: 214 Junior Member
    For my princeton interview, the woman asked me "So, why do you want to go to Harvard?"
  • frutiaspicefrutiaspice Registered User Posts: 1,265 Senior Member
    @lostinbalt: wow...that's pretty awkward...so she new you were going to apply to harvard O_O

    I have yet to have an interview ( I know, I'm running a bit late) but my first one with MIT is this Sunday. I'll let you guys know if anything awkward arises :D
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